A heat wave that has blanketed much of the country this week will peak in the Northeast on Thursday, with potentially record-breaking temperatures described as “oppressive” in National Weather Service forecasts. Temperatures will reach the mid-to-high 90s across the region, with heat indexes over 100.
Parts of upstate New York, eastern New Jersey, southern New Hampshire and Pennsylvania could break records set in 1944, during a sweltering August heat wave that The New York Times later described as “A Month Too Hot for Satan” — Satan being an overheated vulture at the Bronx Zoo.
The heat spike comes less than two weeks after another sizzling heat wave across the Northeast, in which records were broken throughout the region.
Without extensive analysis, it’s hard to blame any particular heat snap on climate change. But the punishing heat waves in Europe, Asia and North America this summer are typical of what scientists expect as the globe warms — more frequent, longer lasting and more dangerous.
The Weather Service began issuing heat warnings for much of the Northeast on Wednesday and said daily records could fall on Thursday from Washington, D.C., into southern New England.
Boston, where a heat emergency was declared on Wednesday, could reach 99 degrees, which would break a record of 96 set in 1928, said Bob Oravec, a Weather Service meteorologist. The high in Hartford, Conn., is forecast to hit 101 degrees, which would break the record of 96 set in 1944, he said. Newark was expected to tie a record of 100 degrees set in 1993.
New York City won’t be quite as scorching but is forecast to see highs of 94 degrees on Thursday, which would break a record of 93 set on that date in 2006, said Zack Taylor, a Weather Service meteorologist.
The city’s electrical supplier, Con Edison, issued an advisory on Wednesday asking customers to limit energy use and relieve pressure on the power grid to avoid outages.
Philadelphia could also tie a record on Thursday, matching the 95 degrees it reached on that date in 1995. Trees in the city have begun to lose their leaves because of the excessive heat and lack of rain, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Friday won’t be quite as warm across most of the region, with highs in the mid-90s, and Saturday will see a dip into the 80s before it becomes hot again on Sunday. The weekend holds the greatest potential for thunderstorms in the Northeast, as the heat and humidity create a glut of moisture in the air.